What do you want? Are you interested in having a better education? Do you want to exercise more? Do you want a healthy marriage? Do you want a vibrant & growing relationship w God? What do you want?
Desires that we don’t achieve can become frustrating & discouraging. So it’s important to think about what we want, our end goal, in smaller steps like one decision at a time.
When we consider what we want & align that to our decisions, then we can make progress towards achieving our desires & goals. Les walk towards our goals & desires one decision at a time.
I’m easily distracted & that can be very challenging. There are always external distractions like the phone alerts, watching people get upset about small stuff, podcasts for listening, multiple books I want to absorb, tasks undone, etc. Then there’s also the internal distractions – feelings that can be challenging, creative ideas that could be fun, stress from impending deadlines, etc.
Thankfully, I met a new friend this morning on my way to catch a plane. She was studying Philippians 4:7-8, which talks about keeping our thoughts focused on constructive & beneficial stuff. For me, this means that I stay intentional about not getting distracted. It also means that I keep my thoughts grounded in the Bible so I don’t mindlessly roam away from God. Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit gives us sniper focus so that we live a life that hits the mark & overflows with divine purpose.
This weekend, I learned about some swimming races near my house at the local reservoir. I learned about these “Aquaman” races from a nice lady after I attempted to do an open water swim at a pond near the mountains here in Denver. My swimming was very disappointing to me & when I got out of the pond, I didn’t feel friendly whatsoever. Nevertheless, I started chatting with the lady nearby & she was very kind & informative. We had a lovely conversation & she helped me know of some open water swimming options that sound really fun!
I say this to encourage you about those moments when you’re struggling or discouraged. Remember that God can encourage & strengthen you in a variety of ways that are often unexpected. Be careful if you’re discouraged not to turn inward so much that you don’t allow God to help or strengthen you with creative ideas & unexpected encouragement!
It’s probably not good to be oblivious, but it happens. For example, last year I had a snowboarding accident & sustained a concussion. This was no bueno & for a season, I was clueless to lots of stuff around me & also in my own emotions & thinking processes. This was a really difficult experience for me & id prefer not to repeat it, ever.
But here are some ways that we might be oblivious that need consideration. We can be oblivious to:
what’s happening around us (with people, situations, events, etc),
what’s happening inside of ourselves (thoughts, emotions, mind sets, etc)
the Holy Spirit
Being oblivious in these areas can create some extremely difficult problems, conversations, hardships & experiences.
We would be wise to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to pay attention, increase our awareness & give us wisdom so we don’t go through life in mindless oblivion 🙂
Before there were planes, trains & automobiles, people used camels, donkeys & the sandal express to resolve their transportation needs. So once upon a time there were a couple of guys walking from one town to another and a random stranger joined their pedestrian ambulation. There ensued a heated conversation about the current events of that time: something about a very magnetic man getting brutally murdered by the key religious leaders of the region & supposedy this murdered but magnetic guy had risen from the dead, according to the rumor on the street. The stranger seemed unaware of these current events, but somehow started a religious conversation that caused a holy heart burn in these fellow travellers. Long story short, these guys came to understand after Jesus disappeared that He was talking with them along their journey, even though they didn’t recognize Him. Luke 24
Just because we know about Jesus doesn’t mean that we always recognize Him in the events or journey of our daily living. I think that part of our Path to Pentecost is letting the Holy Spirit help us recognize Jesus better in our day to day existence.
This morning, I read in Luke 24 about how a few of Jesus’ followers didn’t recognize Him as He was walking on the road to Emmaus with them. For awhile, they didn’t recognize Jesus, but once Jesus broke bread with them at a meal, they recognized Jesus for Who He was & they exclaimed, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He explained the Scriptures?!” Sometimes I don’t think we recognize Jesus’ daily presence with us. Consider the following:
A conversation with a friend & she says something that completely speaks to a need that you’ve been praying about – Jesus’ presence with answers
An unexpected delay that gives some extra time for breathing & even praying – Jesus’ provision for time
A person reaches out to you with some love and encouragement, without any expected reciprocity nor agenda – Jesus’ love relationship with you
Waking up in the middle of the night with the desire to pray – keeping company with Jesus
Someone invites you to serve, volunteer or lead – Jesus’ opportunity to grow and explore new terrain with Him
What are some more ways that we can recognize Jesus in our daily living? 🙂
I’ve been thinking about this question because it’s another nice way to ask someone how they’re doing – how ya feelin? But here’s an interesting tweak on this question. Consider the idea that we could ask ourselves how do we feel in the sense of being sensitive, aware and attentive to what’s happening around us. Sometimes I can be downright insensitive, uncaring & inattentive not only to what’s happening around me but also to what the Holy Spirit may be trying to communicate with me. When I get in this mode, it’s easy to grieve the Holy Spirit by being insensitive. Consequently, it’s a good question to ask ourselves, “How ya feelin?”
I just had a really cool experience – a friend noticed that the tires on my car looked low, like they needed some air. Now the deal is that I can be semi-car savy. However, lately I haven’t had very much time to be mindful of car maintainence. Furthermore, we are leaving Thurs to go to Cambodia & getting to do some AMAZING work with Saving Moses & nightcare. So when my friend said he would help w the air pressure thing, I was blown away – totally. As he was saying that he would help me, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that love is kind & this is a very tangible expression of genuine love. I became stunned to recognize that God was immediately expressing love to me through the kind & practical help with the air pressure in my tires.
This is all to say that the many big & small expressions of kindness to & through us throughout any given day could be dry meaningful expressions of God’s love to & through us, if we’ll keep our eyes & ears dialed into God’s voice, hand & ways. Be mindful that God genuinely loves you 😀
When my kids ask me, “Guess what, mom?” my answer is always, “I’m listening”. There are lots of different ways to communicate beyond just verbal communications: through our clothes, what & how we drive, our body language, text language (hope u r feelng gr8!) and much more. Perhaps, we are always communicating, even when we don’t realize it.
On the flip side, I think that God is also always communicating – through His creation, various conversations, relationships, a still small voice, music, His Word & lots more. Perhaps God is talking even more than we listen or realize. With this thought in mind, I always want to say to The Trinity, “I’m listening”. I’m listening not only with my ears, I’m listening with my heart, listening with my emotions, listening with my mind, listening with eyes, . . . . I’m listening. May God give us hearing ears & sensitive hearts 🙂